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Report: Nuggets' Michael Porter Jr. to return tonight vs. Suns

Porter Jr. has missed multiple weeks because of the NBA's COVID-19 protocols.

From News Services

Michael Porter Jr. has been out for multiple weeks, but will be back for Denver’s clash in Phoenix.

Michael Porter Jr. is set to return to the Denver Nuggets’ lineup on Friday against the Phoenix Suns, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It will be Porter’s first game of the calendar year, with the sophomore forward missing weeks of action after entering Health and Safety protocols. He last played Dec. 29.

Porter was initially quarantined for contact-tracing concerns and was expected to return Jan. 7 against Dallas but was ruled out before the start. Later, Nuggets coach Mike Malone said Porter had contracted COVID-19.

When Porter returns it likely means Will Barton will again come off the bench. Barton has started the last 10 games, with the Nuggets going 6-4 in that span. Porter’s return will bolster an offense that at times has had a hard time finding options other than Jokic, Jamal Murray and Barton.

Porter, averaging 19.5 points in four games, will inject some energy into the lineup.

“Once he gets to gel with us and we get that chemistry with him, I think we’ll be unstoppable,” JaMychal Green said.

Porter can also take some of the burden off Murray, who has been dealing with a bruised right elbow. In Denver’s win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday night Murray had just five points and at one point discarded the elbow sleeve he was wearing.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.